If you feel, as I do, that ‘Tenderness’ is one of the best albums of the year, then this European tour (including just three UK dates) from Duff McKagan is an essential event. Why? Well, the band that Shooter Jennings has behind him, the cool cats who helped lay down the album, are a fuckin’ machine! These guys are so tight live you couldn’t wedge a sheet of paper between them.

Imagine The Band, The Stones at their peak, or even early 90’s The Black Crowes. It’s no coincidence that Duff hooked up with his long time friend Shooter and his band to sprinkle magic on a rootsy, laid back record full of emotion, and for want of a better word… tenderness.

On this tour, the band will be doing 2 sets every night. I’ve seen them do this before, at an album release show for Hellbound Glory at The Whisky-A-Go-Go a couple of years ago. First, they are opening with Shooter, then a full set with Duff. Who knows if they will do this again? This could be the only tour these guys do, and even though the tickets were a hefty £40, I felt it was an experience that I could not miss.

Academy 3 apparently holds 950 punters, although it certainly looks smaller. It is dark, rectangular and has a great atmosphere. You could call this an intimate show for a man who has been playing stadiums with Guns n’ Roses. But for Shooter Jennings and his band, this is probably about average.

The band open with ‘Bound Ta Git Down’, a boogie-woogie, barroom blast. The ever cool Shooter, shades permanently glued to his head, tinkles some ivories as his band jam out behind him.

The likes of ‘Denim & Diamonds’ and the epic ‘All This Could’ve Been Yours’ build on piano and mournful fiddle courtesy of Aubrey Richmond. You almost forget that bad ass bassist Ted Russell Kamp and guitarist John Schreffler Jr are there until it’s time for the guitar solo, then the pair take centre stage to shine. The rhythm section of Russell Kamp and powerhouse drummer Jamie Douglass are surely one of the best in the business and keep it all together. Pure, laid back 70’s rock ‘n’ roll at its finest, these songs are far removed from the rootsy, country that Shooter may well be known for.

The Guns n’ Roses fan base lap it up. Maybe the band intentionally chose a more rock ‘n’ roll based set for this tour, but the likes of ‘Steady At The Wheel’ and the grungy, riff heavy ‘Don’t Feed The Animals’ certainly bring the rock tonight. Aubrey and Shooter bring the sentiment and duet on a few of the more balladic numbers, but hell, this band are even better than I remember them being a couple of years back.

 

It’s packed by the time the band return to the stage with Duff at the helm. Dressed in black shirt and jeans, his tousled blonde hair framing his weathered face to perfection, Duff looks every inch the LA rock star. He plays a low slung acoustic for the majority of the set. As Shooter plays the opening piano chords to Gn’R’s ‘You Aint The First’ Duff asks us of we are ready to sing. The response is a resounding yes!

Having never seen him with Loaded live, I must say being the frontman comes naturally to Duff. He cracks jokes and swigs from a flask between songs. Laid bare on these emotionally charged tunes, his gravelly tones are spot on.

The ebb and flow of the set is perfect. A carefully chosen set mixes up mainly album cuts with ‘Use Your Illusions’ era Guns tunes and a few choice covers. The sound is fantastic; we can hear every word, every breath.

The countrified, hickey ‘Breaking Rocks’ is suitably ramshackle, Shooter takes a verse and shares vocals harmonies on the chorus, lap steel guitar and fiddle give a proper authentic feel.

As Shooter plays the piano refrain to ‘Tenderness’, Duff explains the idea behind the songs with passion and creates a feeling of camaraderie with his audience. It’s a beautiful moment and the crowd are deadly silent as he sings the verses, just with piano accompaniment, his voice on the edge of breaking, the vulnerability shining through.  At that very moment, this gig has become the gig of the year for me. In this setting, with this band, these songs give so much. I must admit to being blown away. “C’mon Manchester!” Duff shouts as we sing the chorus in unison, the euphoria builds to a crescendo. So, so good.

I mentioned the ebb and flow. The Stonesy rock ‘n’ roll vibes of ‘Chip Away’ follows , Hammond organs play out as Duff dedicates ‘Feel’ to Scott Wieland, Chris Cornell, Prince… the list of lost friends goes on. The band plays to perfection. Never overplaying they are there to back up Duff and his acoustic, to add colour and flair to the songs where needed. As before, you forget the bassist and guitarist are actually there, until they come stage front for a solo.

“Some friends of mine from Seattle wrote this song” sparks up Duff before breaking into Mad Season’s ‘River Of Deceit’. That opening little riff he trades with John is sublime, and the feel of the song fits the set perfectly. He gets some crowd participation going too. Duff straps on a telecaster and they take things right up with ‘Dust n Bones’. High energy rock ‘n’ roll, just what the doctor ordered, we sing every word and it sounds utterly fantastic. A killer solo and the crowd out-singing a cortisone-fuelled McKagan makes it a highlight.

Elsewhere this evening, ‘Last September’ and ‘Parkland’ are truly moving and about as relevant as you can get. Chillingly, Duff changes the words in ‘Parkland’ to include the most recent shootings, one that happened just a few days ago. The Clash’s ‘Clampdown’ is suitably ace, and the following ‘Dead Horse’ is downright amazing. Aubrey gets stage front to take the second verse, it’s chaotic. I’ve never heard it live before, I feel privileged.

It’s a rollercoaster of a set to be fair. The more fragile moments of ‘Tenderness’ are played out perfectly and when the band rock out, they are on fire. A final one-two and the band bows out. ‘Don’t Look Behind You’ sounds beautiful, full of sentiment, just like the goddamn record! And the closing cover of Mark Lanegan’s  ‘Deepest Shade’ sees our hero take off his guitar, jump into the pit and scale the barrier to get up close and personal with those at the front.

I knew tonight was going to be good, but I never imagined it would be this good. What I expected to be a laid back, acoustic affair turned out to be a full on rock ‘n’ roll show by a band who play like they have been on the road for years.

While ‘Tenderness’ is one of those ‘late night, stoner’ sort of albums rather than a ‘blast at full volume in the car’ sort of albums, it transfers very well in a live environment with a full band. Good songs are good songs, and coming from the heart and from the soul, Duff has an album full of them.

The tour may have just begun but Duff McKagan and his band have the camaraderie of a well seasoned touring band already. £40 well spent I say.

Author: Ben Hughes

One of the best debut albums I’ve heard in quite some time happens to be ‘Out Of My Head’ it’s jam-packed with influences ranging from the good to the greats and the passion and energy poured into every groove of the LP is evident to the listener.  I tapped Matt up for an interview with RPM and he was happy to oblige.  If you’re lucky enough to have the band roll into a town near you I suggest you cancel whatever it is you’re doing and get down to the Rock and Roll show.  But hey check em out then support them and Dead Beat Records because we need more bands like this making music on labels like that.  So lets cut the crap and get down to the chatter that mattered  Ladies and Gents boys and girls  Matt from Poison Boys…
When did the band form and let us know a little about where you grew up and what inspired you guys to pick up an instrument and play Rock and Roll?
I grew up right outside of Chicago in Northwest Indiana, about 1 minute from the border of Illinois. Been obsessed with rock n roll since I was a kid. Me and my friend Mike Lippman had been playing in punk bands together since we were young teenagers and finally decided we wanted to start a rock n roll band. I played drums throughout those years but wanted to play guitar if it was a rnr band so started figuring out Ramones songs and went from there.
Can you remember what the first songs you wrote as a band was?  
Mike and I collaborated on nearly all of the early songs, he’d write riffs or I would, and I’d write vocals and he’d help me with the lines sometimes. First ones we wrote were Been Here All Night, Out of My Head, Cut Right Out, Bad Mouth, Without You and a couple of others. Unfortunately, Mike passed away before we could complete a lot of other songs which I ended up finishing later like Headed for Disaster, Got to Tease, and Up to the Sky among others. We always wanted it to be a well rounded rock n roll group, not just one specific sound the whole record or anything. But not to stray too far outside of the rock n roll spectrum.
You’ve released a couple of singles before the album came along with the first two being on the excellent UK label no front teeth.  How did that come about?  How did a label out of London pick up some guys in Chicago?  Is the line up stable now? your almost in Spinal Tap territory for past members already 
I found out about No Front Teeth from reading a PORK magazine and either seeing an NFT ad or a record review with NFT as the label it was released on. Just emailed Marco and he was super down to help us get our first (and second) 7″ out. Really I could not find any snotty punk labels in the states at all. Even now I only know of like 2 or 3 and that’s it. And if they aren’t interested or are too busy or whatever you turn to labels elsewhere that’s all.
As for the lineup… When people don’t wanna play rock n roll anymore or move out of state what do you do? The band hasn’t been around long enough to make much of an impression with anyone lineup, hasn’t had an LP or anything out prior to now so it didn’t matter to me. Granted I don’t exactly enjoy having members flake out or whatever but it is what it is. We’ve had a pretty solid lineup for about a year and a half or so with Matt “Chainz/the Chainblaster” Chaney on drums and Steve  “Stevsie/Stevie Poison” Elfinger on bass at home/guitar on the road, and touring members Nico Bones on bass and Julius Lange on guitar. It’s been pretty killer getting to know and hang with all of them.
The first single was back in 2016 then ’17 then you got White Zoo to release the last one last year.  Had you already signed up to dead beat to do the album by then?  How come you switched for the album? 
Dead Beat came about through me asking them earlier this year if they’d be interested in releasing the LP. They were very stoked especially after hearing the record, so we just had to finish up art and final mastering for it and it was a go. The 7″s were released on the other side of the pond, we were just looking for somewhere closer to get the records released by and knew Dead Beat had put out records by some of our favorite newer rock n roll bands.
Is there a chance of a European release for the record?  What about touring Europe and the UK?
We’d love for it to be released by a European label! Haven’t heard anything about that yet but time will tell I suppose. We plan to set up a European tour for hopefully next year.
As far as the album goes I was really pleased to hear plenty of influences in there and some choice covers.  Obviously, I have to ask why those covers? (apart from them being great songs) 
Well, I was listening to a Beatles singles comp called ‘Past Masters’ and heard a banging rocker called ‘Slow Down’. Knew it had to be a cover and found out Larry Williams was the original and sounded killer!! I figured we could pull it off and should give it a go. It delivers well live so we figured it’d be a good way to help open up the album and add more bitchin’ piano to it which we love big time. As for the Dead Boys cover… that one’s always been relatable to me and it fits with our style really well I think. It’s, of course, a tribute to them and our influences getting into punk at an early age.
I love the album and think it’s one of the best debut albums I’ve heard in an age and the attitude in the songs is superb – really authentic sounding. Is there a plan to tour then record some more? are you someone who writes all the time? 
Thanks man I really appreciate it. We worked hard on these songs and it’s good to finally let them have their day. Really nice to hear that people like them. We’re leaving for our “Out of My Head” East Coast/Canada Tour 2019 this week and beginning recording for our 2nd LP this week as well. Plenty still on the horizon for the Poison Boys. I write all the time even if it’s just little pieces and put them together as I go. Show ’em to the guys and get opinions and we work em out from there.
How has the reception been at the live shows?  How would you describe the scene over there in Chicago? is there much of an appetite for real rock and roll?
The live shows are killer and what we love the most. People seem to love it too and get down to our set so that’s cool. I think people need this type of rock n roll but just aren’t getting it much from bands these days. Not a lot of people go to rock n roll shows around here anymore unless it’s the Stones or KISS or something. A lot of bands around here either play washed out reverb’d out psychedelic shit or shoegaze or grunge or a mixture of all that. There’s like 3 bands in Chicago that don’t do that. As with many bands, the reception on the road is way greater than at home.
There seem to be pockets of superb music coming out of America right now – any chance you cats hooking u with bands like Wyldlife, Ravagers and The Sweet Things and stealing over here for a package tour?  Are there any bands you hear about currently tickling your fancy so to speak?
We generally like touring alone but are open to whatever if the situation’s right. One of our first shows ever was in Indianapolis in 2014 opening for Wyldlife. Alex from Ravagers does a lot of our artwork and we have a gig with our boys the Sweet Things coming up at Coney Island Baby in Manhattan in a couple weeks, Friday 8/02. Yeah favorite bands going on right now in the states are mostly in California, like Black Mambas, the Crazy Squeeze, the Flytraps, Dr. Boogie (although they just broke up), and also bands like Terry and Louie, our boys Jonesy from Montreal, the Rubs, our buds Big Blood from out here, stuff like that. And of course the Sweet Things out in NY. There’s a good amount of rock n roll going on elsewhere and I think it’s growing thankfully.
Listening to the album I hear some obvious inspirations from the likes of Dead Boys, Thunders, then I hear classic Stones and Faces – you guys have some of the swagger that made early Guns N Roses shine (tear Me Apart)  and I love the confidence of songs like ‘Up To The Sky’ but you can also mix it up like Hanoi Rocks on songs like ‘Desperado’   it opens up options for you to go in any direction what’s on in the van currently? What are you listening to?
We listen to old protopunk shit like Berlin Brats, Hollywood Brats, Razor Boys, Nervous Eaters, Rockpile, Flamin Groovies, Stooges, all that. A lot of Johnny Thunders and Dolls stuff of course, their solo stuff right after the Dolls broke up too. Hanoi Rocks, Dogs D’Amour. But also stuff like the Nuggets comps and other more obscure comps like the Bonehead Crunchers comps and shit like that. A ton of old punk bands like Menace, the Only Ones, Teenage Head, the Saints, Chelsea, Testors, Slaughter and the Dogs, Gen X… Then Mott the Hoople for 24 hours straight, Lou Reed, Kiss, T Rex, Motorhead, the Faces, Stones. All the goods all the time. Oh yeah and the RAMONES.
If there is anything you guys need to get off your chests here’s your chance.  Anything you’d like to add?
Come see us on tour!!! Buy merch, support rock n roll and keep us on the road. If you play rock n roll start a band get a shitty van and a mechanic friend and go tour. Keep this shit alive and growing and spread the love not shit talk and hate. We’re too small of a scene to be separated all the time by trivial cool guy bullshit and life’s too short to waste energy tearing each other down. It ain’t like the old days, we all know that… Rock n roll is so unimportant to modern society and we’re all we have left. We’re all in this together. Be inclusive there’s no room for hate against each other.
Buy The Album Here or coloured vinyl Here

 

This month on RPM we have plenty of awesome albums to review as well as celebrating important players who’ve had an impact on us all.

 

We’ve put together another playlist championing some of the records we’ve covered or will be covering as well as tipping the hat to some of our brothers who’ve passed away and people we won’t forget and if it makes you go investigate a back catalogue or discover new music then Awesome! that’s our job done.  Tell your friends – tell us – buy music and keep Rock and Roll Evil oh and stay sick!

Californian Singer-songwriter Jordan Jones has a record coming out via those good people at Beluga Records (Swe) and Spaghetty Town Records (USA) here is the first track taken from it and if it’s on those two labels then that’s good enough for us. 

Coming this week we have the fantastic new long player from The Satanic Overlords Of Rock And Roll reviewed by Gerald the record will be available from Savage Magic Records – Get in touch and let em know who sent you!

Whilst there is some fantastic new music coming at you this month we also tip the hat and pay tribute to some of our musical heroes who are no longer with us – the brilliant Nick Marsh, Stiv Bator and Dee Dee Ramone, Ronnie Lane and Roky Ericson who passed this month. Lives well worth celebrating I’m sure you’ll agree. What better way to remember them than to indulge in their music.

Back to new records released one of the best albums to hit the shops in June and a shift of gears from the day job, Duff McKagan released ‘Tenderness’ this month and Ben reviewed it for RPM. Whilst he rightly noted it won’t sell like GnR it’s right up there with the likes of Izzy Stradlin and the JuJu Hounds for quality so we’ve picked the title track to go in our playlist but think you should check out the whole record.

We also carried an interview with Birchy from Black Bombers who of course aren’t on Spotify neither are Gunfire Dance (both would be on our playlist if they were) so we’ve included another band he plays with currently and The Godfathers and their classic ‘Birth School Work Death’.

 

Back to the newer bands you might not have come across yet and for your listening pleasure, we have the stunning new album from The Sweet Things reviewed on RPM so we include one of the best songs on the album.  Coming up we have the review of Dangers Of Love have a listen in our playlist then order the record – you know it makes sense.  There is also a choice cut from the Bat!  June seems like a good minth to review a few compilation albums so we give you the tribute to Dead Moon out on Ghost Highway Records and it seemed like as good an opportunity to play one of the original tunes so we included Dead Moon ‘Walking On My Grave’.  Seeing as this week marks the passing of Stiv Bator and also the release on DVD of the movie ‘Stiv’ we’ve put ‘A Million Miles Away’ in this month.

With the sad news of the passing of Roky Erickson, we thought it would be fitting to include one of our favourite tracks from the guy so ‘If You Have Ghosts’ makes the cut  Rest In Peace Roky!

Before we sign off we thought we’d leave you with another banger and one to watch out for.  From the Spaghetty Town compilation record, we include RMBLR  and their epic tune ‘Next Time’ so until next time go check out some Rock and Roll via our playlist but better than that we hope you discover a new favourite band and go search out the record and support Rock and Roll buy buying off the bands and labels who are keeping Rock and Roll alive. Over and out.

So click the Spotify link give us a follow and spread the word.  Maybe we’ve missed someone you think should be making our playlist why not get in touch on social media or email us at rpmonlinetcb@yahoo.com

 

 

There was always more to Duff McKagan than just being the punk dude bassist from Guns n’ Roses. That much was evident on ‘Believe In Me’, his first solo album, released way back in 1993.

That album was recorded on downtime during the massive ‘Use Your Illusions’ world tour. Similarly, ‘Tenderness’ was written and recorded during Guns recent ‘Not In This Lifetime’ world tour. The difference? 25 years of sobriety, 25 years of losing friends to addiction and depression, and 25 years of life experiences and raising a family in a world that is increasingly dangerous and more fucked up by the day.

 

As the title suggests, ‘Tenderness’ is a much more sombre and reflective body of work than anything Duff has ever recorded. Observations of life on the road during Guns world tour gave the inspiration, and musically, it’s stripped bare. A rootsy, rock record, more akin to Exile-era Stones than the sleazy, Sunset Strip that made the band (and the man) famous.

Hooking up with Shooter Jennings to produce and shape his first solo album since those hedonistic days was a masterstroke. Like he did a couple of years back with Leroy Virgil from Hellbound Glory (check out the marvelous ‘Pinball’ album), Shooter used his own backing band to help sprinkle Nashville style magic all over the album.

Now, this backing band is like a modern day version of The Band, proper cool cats. I saw them perform 2 sets in a night at The Whisky-A-Go-Go, one with Hellbound Glory and then another with Shooter. They will be doing the same on Duff’s forthcoming European tour. When this rhythm section of bassist Ted Russell Kamp and drummer Jamie Douglass get together with fiddle player Aubrey Richmond and John Schreffler Jr on guitar, some sort of magic happens. It’s no surprise they are Shooter’s go-to guys. He knows what sound he needs and they deliver.

 

The title track opens the album and sets the scene. “Blackened days, we’ve lost our way” sings Duff over Shooter’s haunting piano, it sets the scene for the next 45 minutes. The country-tinged arrangement is perfection and the sentiment delivered with sincerity. The sparse musicianship never overplayed, just enough in all the right places to accentuate the melodies and the vocals.

By the time the last chorus is played out, you already have the desire to gather the ones you love and sing along in unison. Moving stuff indeed.

The social commentary Duff is laying out is perfect for these trying times and it’s something we can all relate to. “Turn off the screen, take a long walk and meet your fellow man…it’s not too late’ he sings on the following ‘It’s Not Too Late’, delivered with sincerity over mournful pedal steel and heartfelt violins.

The juxtaposition of the sweet music and the honest lyricism is on point and Duff is not afraid to tackle any subject, from addiction and homelessness to school shootings and abuse. Take ‘Last September’, a hard-hitting, yet beautifully delivered countrified look at the ‘#metoo’ movement.  A lone acoustic breaks the silence like a ‘Nebraska’ outtake, before haunting, choral backing vocals join the lead vocals. Fragile, almost to the point of breaking. “She said no, he said yes, he held her down and choked her neck”. The hard-hitting lyrics are brutal and to the point, sung over laid-back, bare-bones Americana.

 

On a personal highlight, Shooter teases out Duff’s Johnny Thunders influences on ‘Wasted Heart’. The soaring vocals and sweet brass courtesy of The Suicide Horn Section (featuring Duff’s brother Matt McKagan on trombone) is sublime to these ears.

The hard-hitting ‘Parkland’ name-checks the schools affected by shootings and highlights the crazy US gun laws. It could have easily come across as being cheesy, but it’s handled in just the right way by someone who has bought up daughters in that environment. The more upbeat ‘Chip Away’ has a killer Rolling Stones vibe, as Duff drawls about smoking crack over Hammond organ, skiffle beats and handclaps that take us to church…divine.

Elsewhere, the hickey, hard luck story of ‘Breaking Rocks’ is brilliant in its simplicity. It fits the bill nicely, as Duff’s wavering vocals meet in a great duet with Shooter himself. Mental wah-wah guitars seal the deal. A song to sit on the porch and drink moonshine too.

The album closes with the reflective ‘Don’t Look Behind You’. Riding on acoustic and sparse accompaniment, before veering into almost lounge territory as the brass section are left to their own devices, with even a saxophone solo for good measure.

 

Duff McKagan has nothing to prove. He’s been there and done it all. He’s been (right next door) to hell and back and survived to become a better man. But every great musician needs to create and right now Duff has something to say and recording this album is the best thing he could’ve done.

For me, it’s as good as, if not better than Izzy’s Ju Ju Hounds, and it’s up there with Gilby’s ‘Pawnshop Guitars’.

As with past Guns n’ Roses members solo albums, ‘Tenderness’ will go largely unnoticed by the music buying (or streaming) public, which is a crying shame, as it is one of the finest releases this year and probably the best thing the man has put his name to since ‘Appetite For Destruction’.

Buy ‘Tenderness’ Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

Ahead of the release of his new solo album Duff has announced a string of tour dates in support of ‘Tenderness’.

GUNS N’ ROSES’ DUFF McKAGAN ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN TOUR

AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

Thursday 30th May 2019​​TLA, Philadelphia, PA USA

Friday 31st May 2019​​​City Winery, Washington, DC USA

Saturday 1st June 2019​​City Winery, Boston, MA USA

Monday 3rd June 2019​​Irving Plaza, New York, NY

Thursday 6th June 2019​​Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL USA

Saturday 8th June 2019​​Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN USA

Monday 10th June 2019​​Historic Scoot Inn, Austin, TX USA

Thursday 13th June 2019​​El Rey, Los Angeles, CA USA

Friday 14th June 2019​​​Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA USA

Saturday 15th June 2019​​Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR USA

Sunday 16th June 2019​​Showbox Presents, Seattle, WA USA

Thursday 22nd August 2019​​Stodola, Warsaw POLAND

Friday 23rd August 2019​​Astra, Berlin GERMANY

Saturday 24th August 2019​​Blue Moon Festival, Amsterdam HOLLAND

Monday 26th August 2019​​Gloria, Cologne GERMANY

Tuesday 27th August 2019​​Alte Feurwache, Mannheim GERMANY

Thursday 29th August 2019​​Islington Assembly Hall, London UK

Saturday 31st August 2019​​Electric Picnic Festival, Dublin EIRE

Sunday 1st September 2019​​Manchester Academy3, Manchester UK

Tuesday 3rd September 2019​​Le Trabendo, Paris FRANCE

Wednesday 4th September 2019​Ancienne Belgique, Brussels BELGIUM

Friday 6th September 2019​​Dynamo, Zurich SWITZERLAND

Sunday 8th September 2019​​Santeria Club, Milan ITALY

European headline dates go onsale at 9am GMT Friday 26thApril, 2019.

For tickets please see www.livenation.co.uk

TOUR WILL SEE McKAGAN BACKED BY SHOOTER JENNINGS + BAND

Pre Order Duff McKagan ‘Tenderness’ Here

Duff McKagan is giving fans another sneak peek launching “Don’t Look Behind You” – click HERE to listen.

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Los Angeles, CA (23rd April 2019) – “People are going to herald this as one of the best albums of the year.” That’s what SiriusXM radio host Larry Flick said about TENDERNESS, the upcoming solo album from Guns N’ Roses Duff McKagan. “This is Americana-Duff McKagan,” says Flick. “It’s not what you expect.”

 

Produced by (and featuring) recent Grammy winner Shooter Jennings, TENDERNESS (UME) is released on the 31st May 2019. McKagan is giving fans another sneak peek at the much-anticipated record with the release of its closing track, “Don’t Look Behind You” – click HERE to listen.

 

“’Don’t Look Behind You’ was truly inspired by a sense of peace that washed over me after a few months of turning off the TV and social media,” says McKagan. “It was also inspired by the sense of real community I felt while traveling and talking to people around the world on tour during this somewhat tenuous time. This period of sturm und drang will indeed pass. The song seemed to be the final summation that rang loudly from the topics on Tenderness.”

 

“The recording sessions for this album also saw us re-assemble, for the first time since the Use Your Illusion recordings, The Suicide Horn Section, featuring my brother Matt McKagan on trombone, the great Chuck Findlay on trumpet, and the impossible Brian Scanlon on sax,” he adds. “On the very last day of recording, they came down to the studio and laid down the amazing horn lines for ‘Don’t Look Behind You.’ I’ll never forget the culmination of Matt and The Suicide Horns mixed with the Waters singing group sending this song and album out, as Shooter and I just watched it all with goosebumps.”

 

“Don’t Look Behind You” follows previously released songs “Chip Away” and title track “Tenderness” and all three are available as instant downloads by clicking HERE to pre-order TENDERNESS ahead of its 31st May release.

 

TENDERNESS sees McKagan reflecting on his experiences traveling the globe over two and a half years on Guns N’ Roses’  Not In This Lifetime tour.  Encountering heartbreak, anger, fear, confusion and divide on his travels during this tumultuous time in our world history, McKagan channeled a collective hurt into songs of monolithic power.

 

“We’re becoming divided at a time when we need each other most,” says McKagan. “When huge industries get replaced because of modernization, it’s time to retrain and bolster up those who get swept aside. Homelessness and drug addiction are avoidable in this country if we come together and get private and public cogs turning together in a positive direction. We can at least try to tackle mental illness while we’re at it. But alas, we stump and lie, point fingers and divide. We’re way better than this.”

 

With that in mind, McKagan has created a campaign that puts the album’s themes into action and he’s inviting fans to join him in an effort to give support to organizations doing great work. Those include Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission320 Changes Direction, and To Write Love on Her Arms, among others. For more information, please visit propeller.la/duff.

 

McKagan, backed by Shooter Jennings and his band, will be taking these songs on the road for a North American tour that kicks off on 30th May at TLA in Philadelphia. Announced today is a full European tour, below in red, that begins on the 22nd August in Poland. Tour dates are as follows:

DUFF McKAGAN

FEAT. SHOOTER JENNINGS

 

Thursday 30th May 2019​​TLA, Philadelphia, PA USA

Friday 31st May 2019​​​City Winery, Washington, DC USA

Saturday 1st June 2019​​City Winery, Boston, MA USA

Monday 3rd June 2019​​Irving Plaza, New York, NY

Thursday 6th June 2019​​Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL USA

Saturday 8th June 2019​​Cannery Ballroom, Nashville, TN USA

Monday 10th June 2019​​Historic Scoot Inn, Austin, TX USA

Thursday 13th June 2019​​El Rey, Los Angeles, CA USA

Friday 14th June 2019​​​Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA USA

Saturday 15th June 2019​​Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR USA

Sunday 16th June 2019​​Showbox Presents, Seattle, WA USA

Thursday 22nd August 2019​​Stodola, Warsaw POLAND

Friday 23rd August 2019​​Astra, Berlin GERMANY

Saturday 24th August 2019​​Blue Moon Festival, Amsterdam HOLLAND

Monday 26th August 2019​​Gloria, Cologne GERMANY

Tuesday 27th August 2019​​Alte Feurwache, Mannheim GERMANY

Thursday 29th August 2019​​Islington Assembly Hall, London UK

Saturday 31st August 2019​​Electric Picnic Festival, Dublin EIRE

Sunday 1st September 2019​​Manchester Academy 3, Manchester UK

Tuesday 3rd September 2019​​Le Trabendo, Paris FRANCE

Wednesday 4th September 2019​Ancienne Belgique, Brussels BELGIUM

Friday 6th September 2019​​Dynamo, Zurich SWITZERLAND

Sunday 8th September 2019​​Santeria Club, Milan ITALY

 

European headline dates go onsale at 9am GMT Friday 26thApril 2019.

For tickets please see www.livenation.co.uk

 

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Well, we don’t want to always be reporting sad passings of Rock n Rollers we love sometimes we should celebrate some of the good guys who’ve had a big influence on what we’ve listened to over the years so today we’re celebrating the Birthday of Jeffrey Dean Isbell born on this day in 1962 in  Lafayette, Indiana to an engraver and phone company worker.  His folks divorced when he was just eight years old.

 

His first instrument was a drum kit after he was influenced by his grandmother and this led him to form a band with a guy named William Bailey (W Axl Rose) which was the beginning of a magical journey that was to see the pair become two fifths of the biggest band in the world at the time. In 1980 he moved to California and formed a punk rock band.  By ’83 Isbell had left the drums behind and moved onto bass and ultimately the electric guitar it was around this time he reacquainted himself with Rose and wrote ‘Reckless Life’, ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Shadow Of Your Love’ three of Guns n Roses best songs as it goes and ones that have stood the test of time. Hollywood Rose morphed into Guns N Roses and the rest, as they say, is history. Stradlin was always considered the cool Keith Richards like member of Guns and its believed to have been the driving force for their better songs.  ‘Sweet Child O’Mine’, ‘Paradise City’ and ‘Patience’ to name a few. After the phenomenal success of Appetite Stradlin sobered up (allegedly) and by the time the band reconvened to push Use Your Illusions one and two he was losing interest.  Still, he was responsible for the best songs on the albums with the likes of ‘Dust n’ Bones’, ‘Don’t Cry’ and ’14 Years’ Stradlin in true Rock and Roll fashion upped and fucked right out the door never to return. 

It wasn’t the last of him of course as we got the magnificent Ju Ju Hounds album as well as a string of less successful albums throughout the ’90s a few of which were only released in Japan and then some only via the internet or Itunes but if you wanted to investigate he was still writing excellent rock and roll albums no bloated rock operas for Izzy just good honest three minute rock and roll tunes.

 

He has since cropped up contributing to Velvet Revolver but declining the offer to join the band permanently then in 2006 he got up with his former band and played a couple of tunes at a show in New York City.  A year later he released two albums in twelve months the excellent ‘Miami’ only through iTunes then at the tail end of the year he knocked out ‘Fire’ and acoustic album which took his output to an impressive eighth album. There were a further two Internet-only albums by 2010 before he played on the debut solo album from Slash before blowing out the Rock and Roll hall of fame when the band was inducted and the attention-shy songwriter had Duff read out a prepared press statement.  He then refused to join the reformed Guns N Roses due to the money not being shared equally between the band and I’d like to think without Adler in the engine room it wasn’t really a Guns N Roses reunion, was it?  with only three-fifths of the line up reforming so again good on Stradlin’ for sticking to his guns (no pun intended). He also refused to join the band onstage after turning up for soundcheck at a show but it was never confirmed if it was the show that Adler played a couple of classic tunes on.

So, right up to the here and now Izzy remains active in Rock n Roll having cropped up on the last Mellencamp album guesting on ‘Grandview’ so who knows whats next – Me I’d love to see him do a few club dates in the UK with the Ju Ju Hounds and play that debut album in full now that would be something really special.  Izzy if you’re out there get in touch RPM Online loves ya and wishes you a Happy Birthday.

Buy Izzy Stradlin Music Here

Also on this day Donita Sparks,  L7 was born in 1963.  Happy Birthday, Donita.

Bass legend and pioneer of the “This bass is gonna fuck my back up its so heavy club” Pete Overend Watts passed away on this day in 2017.  Pete was the bass player in Mott The Hoople and not afraid to don a pair of stack-heeled, thigh high boots and play a weird bluebird headstocked bass that more than likely weighed a tonne. He also made the Gibson Thunderbird his weapon of choice.

Watts was born in the Midlands in 1947 and joined Mott The Hoople at the start and played on ‘Mott The Hoople’ in 69 and everything until ‘The Hoople’ in 74.  he remained in the band when they went to being called Mott then subsequently British Lions for their two albums. As well as his playing career Pete also turned his hand to production and co-produced ‘Back To Mystery City’ for Hanoi Rocks

He died at the age of 69 from throat cancer.  Rest in peace Pete RPM loves Mott The Hoople and now seems a good time to pay tribute to Pete and his band with a classic video.

So as it’s not all sad news today is the birthday of Steven Adler formerly the guy responsible for Guns N Roses swing and groove when they were a top rock n roll band and not just another hard rock act.  Shame that anyway, Happy Birthday Steven. or should we say, Michael Coletti. Age 53. Keep on rockin fella.

Also born today – Michael Hutchence and Malcolm McLaren both sadly also passed. To celebrate Mr. Adlers birthday here’s a video from when Guns N Roses were half tidy.

Ben Hughes

 

I wear my Junkyard t-shirt with pride. I saw them back in the day and I saw them last year at Hull Hair Metal Heaven, albeit with a 26-year gap. Now I get to see them do an actual headline set at my local venue, just a short walk from my house, 27 years since first seeing them open for The Almighty.

Over here as support to Blackberry Smoke by personal request of singer Charlie Starr shows the respect these Hollywood veterans have in certain circles and rightly so. Lumped in with the late 80’s glam scene, they were always more Steve Earl than Motley Crue. Times may have changed, styles may have changed but Junkyard will always be Junkyard. Bowing to no trends or fads, they play rock ‘n’ roll like they always have, honest songs with dirty riffs and sleazy vocals that get under the fingernails and refuse to budge.

 

First up we have The Jokers. I’ve not seen or heard The Jokers before tonight and to be fair the Northern band were highly impressive. I guess you could put them right in the Classic Rock category, think Bad Company meets Shortino-era Quiet Riot. You can’t knock their energy and enthusiasm for starters and I think they turned it up to 11, maybe a bit too loud for the sparse turnout at Fibbers tonight.

Singer Wane Parry looks like a young Dave King in his Fastway days with Bolans’ corkscrew hair and what a damn fine set of pipes he has. Diminutive guitarist Paul Hurst is a poundshop Warner E Hodges and an excellent player who gives his all, pulling off massive riffs and licks aplenty. Several times he downs his Les Paul and comes out into the audience to beckon people to come to the front. He partly succeeded by pulling forward some birds who were probably wives and girlfriends of the band to be honest.

They played like the room was packed and they deserve bigger audiences. If they play in your town I strongly urge you to go see them.

 

Vintage Trouble’s ‘Run Like The River’ blats from the PA as an introduction for Junkyard’s set tonight. With the cover of last year’s excellent ‘High Water’ album emblazoned on the screens behind them, they launch straight into ‘Life Sentence’. It’s been the opener every time I have seen them, no wonder, it’s a killer introduction. “That’s my life, that’s my way…that’s my life sentence”  shouts Roach as he swings his mic stand around the stage, no truer words have been sung with such conviction.

Dressed in their obligatory matching denim cut-offs, Junkyard are a gang who wear their colours proudly on their backs and their brand of biker blues is for real. The raw, punk rock delivery of David Roach is the perfect match for the bluesy twin guitars of Jimmy James and Tim Mosher. Uber cool Quireboys bassist Gary Ivin, standing in for the absent Todd Muscat, is a fine replacement and keeps a perfect rhythm with original drummer Pat Muzingo.

New songs such as ‘Faded’ and the punky ‘W.F.L.W.F.’ fit perfectly with the old standards and it’s as great to hear these new songs live as it is the classics. The ever cool ‘Back On The Streets’ and the bluesy ‘Long Way Home’ are played early and sound sublime.  

Jimmy James breaks a string midway through ‘Blooze’, so as the pair of guitarists dart off stage together to re-string (they didn’t even bring a spare?), the rhythm section keeps the song going, bassist Gaz keeps the rumbling bassline jamming stage front as David returns with an extended vocal rap. A fine rock ‘n’ roll moment to savor.

‘Hands Off’ remains one of my favourite Junkyard songs and tonight, as Tim picks those classic chords and Jimmy rips out that bluesy lead, it sends shivers up the back of my spine.

Of course, they close with the obligatory ‘Hollywood’ their biggest hit, but not their greatest song by far.

 

No encore’s, no surprises and a no-frills approach that delivered just what you expect from a Junkyard show. There is talk of them returning to these shores in the not so distant future, and while I’m sure the packed out shows with Blackberry Smoke have been rewarding for the band, I do hope the not so packed club shows don’t put them off coming back for more. Until they return, I still wear my Junkyard t-shirt with pride.

Buy Junkyard Here

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COMPULSIONS Front Man Returns From Road, Releases Album Teaser Featuring ROLLING STONES Cover (Feat. GUNS N’ ROSES, RAGING SLAB Players)

From camping out in the recording studio with an army of killer New York musicians to racing around England and Germany on a co-headlining tour with
CRYBABYS front man, Darrell Bath (DOGS D’AMOUR, IAN HUNTER, UK SUBS), 2018 has been a busy year for COMPULSIONS leader, Rob Carlyle.
“I had a blast on the road with Darrell,” says Rob. “It’s rare for me to have that much in common with another musician. But musically speaking, we were two peas in a pod. Anyone who brings Now Look by Ron Wood on tour is all right by me! And after one of the German shows, I’m told someone on Facebook called us ‘The Two Greatest Rockers from Each Side of the Pond.’ So, I guess we did all right (laughs).”


But now that he’s back home, Carlyle’s been back in his second home: the recording studio. The New York-born frontman has been putting the final touches on Ferocious, the follow-up to his wildly acclaimed band’s sophomore effort, Dirty Fun (2015) – a release music scribes spilled much ink over as they favorably compared the underground underdogs to legendary artists such as AEROSMITH, THE NEW YORK DOLLS and THE ROLLING STONES.

“The recording process has taken longer than I expected but then again, we had about thirty tracks in the works,” explains Rob. “And it wasn’t until recently that we narrowed them down to the ten songs that’ll be on (Ferocious). But on the flip side, with the other 20 or so tracks already in progress, we have a great head start on the next couple of albums.”
As he continues to tinker with producer Ken Rich at Grand Street Recording, Rob springs a second Ferocious teaser video on the unsuspecting public.

To quickly backtrack: The first clip was unleashed in late 2017, featuring upcoming ditty, “Dirtbag Blues” – an obscenity-laced spurt of back alley sleaze with none other than Earl Slick (yes, DAVID BOWIE’s guitarist!) delivering a rapid-fire barrage of snarling CHUCK BERRY-style licks and riffs. In addition to Carlyle and Slick, rounding out the “Dirtbag” lineup was ex-NEW YORK DOLLS drummer, Brian Delaney, and ex-RAGING SLAB bassist, Alex Morton

Fast forward to today for the release of a second Ferocious video.

In this latest video, Rob and a seemingly heavily sedated nurse are sprawled out on a dirty basement floor while Rob strums his battered Telecaster. The music features THE COMPULSIONS tearing through THE ROLLING STONES’ country-inspired classic, “Dead Flowers”. The “Flowers” recording lineup consists of two GUNS N’ ROSES alumni, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on guitar heroics and Frank Ferrer on drums, along with Carlyle and Morton in their respective roles – not to mention gospel-tinged backing vocals by Nicki Richards (borrowed from MADONNA and MARIAH CAREY) and boozy barroom piano by Andrew Sherman. The new teaser video featuring “Dead
Flowers”

An official release date for Ferocious has yet to be announced, however, Rob offered this: “I thought we’d release (Ferocious) in 2018, but between working on almost 30 tracks and the tour dates that popped up unexpectedly, we’re gonna now shoot for 2019. In the meantime, I hope everyone gets a kick outta this little clip. And please keep spinning THE COMPULSIONS real loud and please keep telling all your friends about the band. Rock ‘n’ roll needs your love… every little bit counts! God bless!” More COMPULSIONS news is coming soon. Check the website for details